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Image: Koch Bros. Cut Trump Out of Invites, Campaign Armory

Koch Bros. Cut Trump Out of Invites, Campaign Armory

By    |   Wednesday, 29 Jul 2015 10:16 AM

The Koch brothers are refusing to join the Trump bandwagon, blocking his access to influential tools in their political armory, Politico reported.

According to the report, the Kochs have denied the real estate mogul access to their state-of-the-art data and analytics services. He has also been excluded from their annual grassroots summit next month in Columbus, Ohio, run by Americans for Prosperity (AFP), as well as the annual summer soiree of mega-donors and operatives in Orange County, California, which will be attended by a number of Trump's rivals.

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"Continued stiff-arming by the powerful Koch network could limit Trump's ability to build a professional campaign operation to mobilize supporters ahead of primaries and caucuses," Politico said.

In recent weeks, AFP and Concerned Veterans for America, the Koch-backed groups, have hosted events with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. The Columbus event will feature those candidates as well as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Opinions about Trump are mixed among the Koch network of donors, Politico said. Some were offended by Trump's implication that Arizona Sen. John McCain is not a war hero.

It's unclear whether the Koch brothers will take a more formal stance against Trump, Politico said.

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"The good news is that Donald Trump doesn't need the Koch brothers, and he can do this perfectly without their assistance," Josh Youssef, chairman of Trump's campaign in Belknap County, New Hampshire, told Politico. "Their motivations are clearly not to break the mold of political insider-ship. Their goal is to keep the wheel spinning. Trump's bad for business for them."

Trump has hired a number of AFP staff to his campaign, including campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who until January ran AFP's national voter-registration effort.

The distance between Trump and the Koch groups suggests an ideological divide, with Trump eschewing traditional ideological lines and the influential interests behind them.

"I think that's what is sort of scaring a lot of people, especially on both Republican and Democratic sides, because they can't control Trump," Stephen Stepanek, a New Hampshire state legislator who is co-chairing Trump's state campaign, told Politico.

"People are really afraid to speak their mind, and it is actually with the way people react to things and the way that these various groups attack people if they say anything," he said. "We're having our First Amendment, freedom of speech, stepped on, walked all over by these various groups."

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The Koch brothers are refusing to join the Trump bandwagon, blocking his access to influential tools in their political armory, Politico reported.
koch brothers, donald trump, afp, koch network
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2015-16-29
Wednesday, 29 Jul 2015 10:16 AM
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